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Certified in Pilates, yoga, spinning and nutrition, Jas Merritts teaches group classes at several studios throughout the city, including Moxie Yoga & Fitness, recently named "Best Yoga Studio" by San Francisco Magazine. From the moment she took her first step, Jas has led a life of movement. She grew up in a family of athletes, which inspired her to pursue competitive running and cycling.
On a quest to seek healing from the pain spurred by multiple marathons and triathlons, she found peace in her body by practicing yoga and Pilates. Being a diehard vegan helps, too. She encourages students to explore their bodies, find their center, and overcome limitations through building strength, increasing flexibility, elevating stamina and eating well. Namaste to that.
In one sentence, tell us about yourself.
I’m a fitness fanatic who has played sports my entire life. I love to break a sweat and get my heart pumping.
What inspired you to become a trainer/fitness instructor?
The lack of diversity in yoga. Knowing the wonderful benefits of yoga, I wanted to show others like me that anyone can practice yoga, despite the commercialized stereotype.
What advice would you offer to someone who is just starting in your class?
Explore! I view yoga as an individual journey, and I encourage my students to explore their bodies to determine their strengths and weaknesses. Some poses look intimidating but can be very liberating. And you never know until you try!
AOL still makes over $500 million a year through dial-up internet subscriptions—one of which belongs to my mother-in-law.
If you weren’t in fitness, what would you be doing?
I would be the better-dressed Spike Lee of documentary films.
What are your top three workout jams?
"Bring the Noize" by M.I.A.; "Turn Down for What" by DJ Snake & Lil’ Jon; and "Run the World (Girls)" by Beyonce.
Learn more about Jas at Jas Merritts Fitness and follow her on Instagram and Twitter: @jasmerritts.